Lead Planner - Strategic Planning and Community Engagement

Recruitment #2101-2613-001




Department of Housing and Community Development 

SPACE Team (Strategic Planning and Community Engagement)


The Lead Planner position within the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will be a key staff member in the Strategic Planning and Community Engagement (SPACE) team. SPACE is a new team within HCD created to work on important Tucson challenges such as housing instability, gentrification and displacement, structural inequalities, and more. SPACE works on strategic planning and key inter- and intra-departmental initiatives including but not limited to affordable housing development, community engagement and communications, Choice Neighborhoods, website development, and data analysis.  
This position requires strong analytical and communication skills, and the ability to work in a team environment. The selected individual must be able to manage multiple work assignments and meet strict deadlines.  

General Description

Leads planners in providing support for a variety of land and water use planning projects. Reviews proposed land use for compliance with codes, area plans and policies.  Coordinates projects and collects technical information. Provides assistance to the public regarding zoning, land use or water issues.

Essential Functions

Primary Duties May Include: 

  • Facilitate the advancement of affordable housing development by assisting with affordable housing projects on select city-owned properties, developing an affordable housing strategy with community partners, assisting with funding processes, etc. 

  • Coordinate with public agencies, consultants, and City staff to develop media messages, reports, maps, presentations, surveys, and other documents related to housing and community development 

  • Support the new Commission on Equitable Housing and Development 

  • Help coordinate stakeholder meetings and organize public outreach and input processes 

  • Assist with the evaluation and reporting on the implementation of the new People, Communities, and Homes Investment Plan (P-CHIP) 

  • Assist with the Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Implementation process, which is a federal grant to develop a community-driven Transformation Plan within the Oracle Rd / Miracle Mile area of Tucson 

  • Assist with the HCD website redevelopment and other communications initiatives 

  •  Assist with the development of grant applications for housing and community development projects and programs 

  • Assist with the recruitment and oversight of interns and volunteers

This is a lead position affording guidance to other positions performing the same tasks. This lead position also reviews workloads, assigns work and coaches employees with specialized instructions and practices for job accomplishments. Lead personnel may contribute to other employees' performance evaluations, assist with the hiring process by interviewing and making recommendations and providing input to supervisory staff.

Reviews and evaluates plans and sites by analyzing development projects, deciding potential impact of land or water use proposals, reviewing proposed rezoning, annexations, and land sales/trades, visiting sites, preparing reports of potential impacts, making improvement recommendations, and meeting with applicants to discuss decisions.

Conducts analysis of complex urban issues utilizing geographic, demographic and economic data using ArcGIS.

Compiles and integrates geospatial data from a wide variety of sources for analysis.

Reads and interprets data from spatial and non-spatial databases.

Coordinates various projects by conducting research, collecting technical materials, and meeting with businesses and organizations. Presents multi-media materials, makes recommendations for programs, and coordinates special events to promote programs.

Provides assistance to the public by providing information on zoning and land use issues, preparing maps and other digital information, logging complaints into a database, and communicating case information updates to related parties.

Testifies in court to present evidence, approves vendor payments, provides assistance with grant applications, assists with writing new area plans and policies, and provides technical assistance as needed.

Assesses water use proposals for compliance with water resource management plans, and analyzes the need fir, and appropriateness of, water conservation measures.

Reviews and evaluates proposals such as plan amendments, zoning code text amendments, and various City standards by conducting    research, collecting materials, coordinating public involvement and making recommendations.

Minimum Qualifications


·       Bachelor’s Degree in Planning, Real Estate Development, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Public Administration, Public Health, Social Work, Public Policy, Geography, GIS, or related field

·       At least 3 years of experience in affordable housing development, urban/land use planning, social services, public policy, or community organizing

Valid driver’s license

Preferred Qualifications


  • Master’s Degree in Planning, Real Estate Development, Business Administration, Architecture, Landscape Architecture,  

  • Public Administration, Public Health, Social Work, Public Policy, Geography, GIS, or related field 

  • Bilingual in English/Spanish

Selection Plan

As part of the online application process all applicants are required to submit a resume under the "Resume" tab or email to neil.nickol@tucsonaz.gov along with a cover letter that will be required.  Please ensure your application contains the required resume and cover letter prior to submission, or email both to the email address above prior to submission. Applications received without a resume and cover letter will be considered incomplete.

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be evaluated on the education and work experience in their employment profile and the responses to their supplemental questions. The highest scoring applicants may be invited to participate in phone screen depending on the number of well qualified candidates.

The next step in the process will include a virtual oral board interview. 

* *It is important to note that the City of Tucson uses Microsoft Teams for its virtual interviews. Please ensure that you have access to this software application, if you are not able to participate in the virtual format, please contact the H.R. Analyst listed below for other options once you have been invited to the virtual interview.

  • Virtual oral board interviews will be held: The Week of March 8, 2021

Those applicants passing the interview process may be invited to participate in a hiring interview.

Upon completion of all examination processes, the highest scoring applicants will be placed on the Civil Service Employment List.  An applicant's ranking on the Civil Service list will be based on their final score which will be calculated as:      

  • 10% of your rating for education and work experience 
  • 10% of your rating for resume and cover letter
  • 10% of your phone screen (if this process is used)
  • 70% of your oral board interview  (note oral board score will account for 80% of rating in the event phone screens do not occur)

This recruitment will establish a civil service list that will be utilized to fill vacancies in Housing & Community Development Department within the next 6 months. 

Veterans, Native American, or Disability preference points will be added to the final score for those that are placed on the Civil Service Employment List.  If you qualify for preference points as outlined in the Employment Profile, you must upload your documentation as part of the application process.  The DD 214 must be a copy that indicates characterization of service. If you are in need of Americans with Disabilities Act-related accommodation during the testing process, please contact Neil Nickol by email  Neil.Nickol@tucsonaz.gov at least 48 hours prior to the evaluation.

Pre-employment Medical Testing Requirements


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To ensure accurate payroll information for tax purposes, the successful candidate will need to provide their original Social Security Card or original letter from the Social Security Administration with their social security number prior to beginning work with the City of Tucson.

The City of Tucson hires lawful workers only - US citizens or nationals and non-citizens with valid work authorization - without discrimination. Federal immigration laws require all employers to verify both the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States. In its efforts to meet the law's requirements, the City of Tucson participates in the E-Verify program established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to aid employers in verifying the eligibility of workers.

Retired City of Tucson employees receiving benefits from the Tucson Supplemental Retirement System who are considering reemployment with the City should be aware that pursuant to Section 22-37(g) of the Tucson City Code, retirement benefits shall be suspended during the period of reemployment with the City of Tucson unless you have been separated at least twelve consecutive months before returning to work AND you return to a non-permanent employment classification. Creditable service does not accrue during any reemployment period.